Amid reports that the Phils-Jays talks are not going well—but keep in mind that the teams are mid-negotiation and their dynamic could very easily change soon—I’m hearing more about Phils-Indians. Baseball sources say that Cleveland will send scouts to watch the Reading Phillies tonight and for the next several nights, demonstrating that a Cliff Lee-to-Phils deal remains a possibility.
Kyle Drabek pitches tonight for Reading, though the Phillies do not believe that would have to part with their top pitching prospect to acquire Lee, the 2008 A.L. Cy Young Award winner. A baseball source also said that the Indians will “double up” their scouts to watch Vance Worley pitch on Thursday. Worley, a righthander, is 6-8 with a 5.68 ERA this year.
A person with direct knowledge of the Jays thinking told the Inquirer that the team is done scouting the Phillies, though it would not be out of the realm of possibility for them to take one more look at Drabek tonight.
In other news on the Plan B Watch, lefty Jarrod Washburn pitches for Seattle tomorrow night. While the Phillies have always favored the idea of acquiring Roy Halladay, Seattle’s Erik Bedard and Washburn have been on their radar, as well as Lee. With Bedard now on the disabled list—and one member of the Phillies staff recently questioned to me Bedard's desire to pitch deep into games, anyway—Lee and Washburn remain the two most logical non-Halladay options.
Plus, the loss of Bedard would seem to make the Mariners more likely to trade off players at the deadline. Ruben Amaro Jr. declined to say whether the Phils would send a scout to watch Washburn tomorrow.
Bottom line: They still want the horse. I'm not saying that a Lee or Washburn deal is likely, or even close. I am saying that Phils continue to consider all possibilities.